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Encyclopedia > Disorderly Conduct

Almost every state in the United States has a disorderly conduct law that makes it a crime to be drunk in public, to "disturb the peace", or to loiter in certain areas. Many types of obnoxious or unruly conduct may fit the definition of disorderly conduct, as such statutes are often used as "catch-all" crimes. Police may use a disorderly conduct charge to keep the peace when a person is behaving in a disruptive manner to themselves or others, but presents no serious public danger. Disorderly conduct is typically classified as a misdemeanor. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... A misdemeanor, or misdemeanour, in many common law legal systems, is a lesser criminal act. ...


Definitions

A typical statutory definition of disorderly conduct, in this case Indiana's, defines the offense in this way: The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... Official language(s) English Capital Indianapolis Largest city Indianapolis Area  Ranked 38th  - Total 36,418 sq mi (94,321 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 270 miles (435 km)  - % water 1. ...

A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally:
(1) engages in fighting or in tumultuous conduct;
(2) makes unreasonable noise and continues to do so after being asked to stop; or
(3) disrupts a lawful assembly of persons;
commits disorderly conduct. . . [1]

Indiana's definition of "disorderly conduct" is modeled after the Model Penal Code's definition, and is typical, but not identical, to similar laws on the statute books of other U.S. states. It covers a large variety of potential acts in its prohibition; "fighting" is perhaps the clearest act within the scope of its prohibition. What is "tumultuous conduct," what constitutes "unreasonable noise", or what "disrupts a lawful assembly" are matters that are far harder to decide, and as such disorderly conduct statutes give police officers and other authorities fairly broad discretion to arrest people whose activities they find undesirable for a wide variety of reasons. Potential punishments include a jail term, fine, probation, restraining orders, and community service. Negligence is a legal concept usually used to achieve compensation for accidents and injuries. ... The mens rea is the Latin term for guilty mind used in the criminal law. ... The Model Penal Code (MPC) is a statutory text which was developed by the American Law Institute (ALI) in 1962. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of the... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Look up Injunction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Interpretation

The courts confronted with cases stemming from these arrests have from time to time had occasion to restrict the broad and vague definitions of the statute to make certain that freedom of speech and assembly and other forms of protected expression under the First Amendment were not affected. They also have had occasion to curb its scope to make certain that people were aware that their conduct was, in fact, within the prohibition of the statute, as required by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, no court has struck down a disorderly conduct statute as being per se unconstitutionally vague or overbroad. Courts have been willing to strike down vagrancy ordinances which are nearly as vague and do not give adequate warning. Freedom of speech is the concept of being able to speak freely without censorship. ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a part of the United States Bill of Rights. ... In United States law, adopted from English Law, due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that the government must normally respect all of a persons legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights when the government deprives a person of life... Amendment XIV in the National Archives The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), intended to secure rights for former slaves. ... This page lists direct English translations of common Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. ... Ambiguity is one way in which the meanings of words and phrases can be unclear, but there is another way, which is different from ambiguity: vagueness. ... In American jurisprudence, the overbreadth doctrine is primarily concerned with facial challenges to laws under the First Amendment. ...


States like California that have common law have disorderly conduct mentioned in different codes. California Penal Code 415 which is similar to the Model Penal Code reiteration above actually concerns disturbing the peace. However, in California disorderly conduct California Penal Code 647 lists what acts constitute disorderly conduct. This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Criminal Code. ...

Section 647: Every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor:
(a) Who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view.
(b) Who solicits or who agrees to engage in or who engages in any act of prostitution. A person agrees to engage in an act of prostitution when, with specific intent to so engage, he or she manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation to so engage, regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a person who also possessed the specific intent to engage in prostitution. No agreement to engage in an act of prostitution shall constitute a violation of this subdivision unless some act, in addition to the agreement, is done within this state in furtherance of the commission of an act of prostitution by the person agreeing to engage in that act. As used in this subdivision, "prostitution" includes any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration.
(c) Who accosts other persons in any public place or in any place open to the public for the purpose of begging or soliciting alms.
(d) Who loiters in or about any toilet open to the public for the purpose of engaging in or soliciting any lewd or lascivious or any unlawful act.
(e) Who loiters or wanders upon the streets or from place to place without apparent reason or business and who refuses to identify himself or herself and to account for his or her presence when requested by any peace officer so to do, if the surrounding circumstances would indicate to a reasonable person that the public safety demands this identification.
(f) Who is found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance, or toluene, in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
disorderly conduct - definition of disorderly conduct in Encyclopedia (339 words)
Indiana's definition of "disorderly conduct" is modelled after the Model Penal Code's definition, and is typical, but not identical, to similar laws on the statute books of other U.S. states.
What is "tumultuous conduct," what constitutes "unreasonable noise", or what "disrupts a lawful assembly" are matters that are far harder to decide, and as such disorderly conduct statutes give police officers and other authorities fairly broad discretion to arrest people whose activities they find undesirable for a broad variety of reasons.
They also have had occasion to curb its scope to make certain that people were aware that their conduct was, in fact, within the prohibition of the statute, as required by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Law of the Month - May 2002 (485 words)
Whoever, in a public or private place, engages in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under circumstances in which the conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
The defendant was properly convicted of disorderly conduct when he appeared on a stage wearing a minimum of clothing intending to and succeeding in causing a loud reaction in the audience.
It was not disorderly conduct for 4 people to enter an office with other members of the public for the purpose of protesting the draft and to refuse to leave on orders of the police when their conduct was not otherwise disturbing.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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